Northern Ireland

Glider inspector assaulted in ‘abhorrent’ attack in west Belfast

Incident happened on Saturday in the Falls Road area

The Glider bus service on the Falls Road in west Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell
The Glider bus service on the Falls Road in west Belfast. PICTURE: HUGH RUSSELL

An assault on a Glider bus inspector in west Belfast is being investigated by police who have described the attack as “absolutely abhorrent”.

The ticket inspector was punched in the chest by a male believed to be in his teens while on the Glider vehicle in the Falls Road area shortly before 5.30pm on Saturday.

The male is described as being around 5 feet in height and of slim build, and was wearing a grey coloured hooded tracksuit top with the hood up and dark coloured tracksuit bottoms.

Following the assault, he got off the Glider with two other males.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Any assault is completely unacceptable, but an attack on a member of staff who is assisting the local community is absolutely abhorrent.

“Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone with any information in relation to the assault, is asked to contact them on 101 quoting reference number 1405 06/04/24.”

The assault is the latest incident of violence against Glider staff in the city, following a spate of attacks last year.

Last August a ticket inspector suffered a suspected broken nose after being punched on the bus in the Lenadoon area of the city.

In May of last year, two inspectors were assaulted on the same day in separate incidents, with one treated in hospital for his injuries.

A Translink spokesperson said: “We completely condemn this incident involving a member of our team in west Belfast on Saturday evening.

“The safety of our customers, staff and the wider public is our top priority at all times and the vast majority of our passengers experience safe and comfortable journeys.

“All our staff have the right to work without fear of abuse or violence.”

They added: “We are assisting the PSNI investigation, including provision of CCTV from the Glider vehicle, the halt and body cam footage.

“We also offer a reward of up to £1,000 for anyone prepared to give evidence which leads to a conviction.”